On short notice, at least a dozen SSL activists answered the call to put on their yellow “love” shirts and joins hundreds of others who oppose SB 1070 for a Monday morning interfaith march and rally against Arizona’s anti-immigrant law. On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in United States v. State of Arizona to determine whether or not the injunction against key provisions of SB 1070 law should be lifted. In July, U.S. Judge Susan Bolton placed an injunction on the parts of the law passed by the Arizona legislature and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer that she deemed unconstitutional.
Starr King School for the Ministry student Suzi Spangenberg recruited and coordinated the volunteers. “In recruiting UUs for this public witness,” said Spangenberg, “I thought I would be preaching to the choir about the need to stand up against laws like SB 1070. I actually found that there are so many opportunities for education just within our own community.”
The march began at St. Patrick’s Church and traveled to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where a small group of SB 1070 supporters tried all they could do to incite violence, according to Spangenberg. “Those of us protesting SB 1070 tried hard not to react,” she said, “and we did a good job of not engaging with them and truly standing on the side of love.”
UUs traveled from as far as San Diego to stand on the side of love and against racism. Spangenberg was joined by fellow Starr King seminarian Rose Vera, who provided medic coverage for the march, and Peter Wilson, of Santa Rosa, Ca., who was among those arrested this July in Phoenix with a Standing on the Side of Love group participating in acts of civil disobedience. Rev. Jaqueline Duhart, Assoc. Minister of Community Engagement at the First UU Church of Oakland, showed up with the SSL banner.
“All in all, this was incredibly positive,” said Spangenberg. “The rally stretched out several blocks as we marched. There was a lot of singing, families and children who made their own signs, and a real sense of community and appreciation for those of us who showed up in solidarity. A group that traveled from Arizona expressed their profound appreciation for the love we showed. In fact, Carlos Garcia from Puente spoke out very eloquently on camera about how much he appreciates the support of UUs across the country who came to Arizona this summer, and those here in the Bay Area.”
According to ABC News, “The three-judge panel now will decide whether all or parts of the law should be reinstated or struck down. The case ultimately could reach the U.S. Supreme Court. Lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department, which brought the case against Arizona in July, have argued the law violates the supremacy clause of the Constitution. In her ruling, Judge Bolton agreed, ruling that enforcement of the most contentious provisions of the law would preempt the federal government’s exclusive authority to set and implement a national immigration policy. Some parts of the law have taken effect, including criminalizing state officials interfering with or refraining from enforcement of federal immigration laws. It is also illegal to pick up and transport day laborers across the state, or to give a ride to or harbor an illegal alien. A vehicle used to transport an illegal alien can be impounded.”
The L.A. Times Reported: “The 9th Circuit judges chosen randomly to hear Arizona’s appeal are John Noonan, an appointee of Ronald Reagan and a moderate; Richard Paez, a Bill Clinton appointee and the son of Mexican immigrants; and Carlos Bea, an appointee of George W. Bush who was born in Spain and once was ordered deported from the United States. Bea appealed and won.”
For more immigration-related information and resources, click here.More >
Reverend Nathan C. Walker is the minister of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
Enough! This is the message coming from Tim Wise who asked, What if the Tea Party Were Black? and from the NAACP-sponsored report entitled Tea Party Nationalism written by Devin Burghart, author of "Guns & Gavels" and MacArthur fellow Leondard Zeskind.
I join these race critics in saying, enough!
Enough of the double standard where violent minorities are to be feared and violent whites, who descend upon Washington DC with their AK-47s and handguns, demand to be revered.
Enough of the racist, rabid, raging language of hate laced in the rhetoric of patriotism. There is nothing responsible or honorable about racist signs, about depicting our President as a non-American, or about anti-immigrant nativism.
Enough of the political opportunist who fuel the public’s fear of "the other" for personal gain. I stand on the side of love with the NAACP in proclaiming that all political leaders from all political parties must immediately distance themselves from the people who proclaim violence, espouse racist rhetoric, and associate themselves with white supremacist organizations.
Let it be made known from sea to shining sea – the racist, unjust, unpatriotic behavior in this election season must immediately cease so our country may replace the sensational politics of an extreme few with sensible politics that create liberty and justice for all.More >
Have you started to plan your Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil? Stories like that of Chloe Lacey exemplify the need to speak out. Chloe was a trans teen in CA who ended her life, partly out of bullying fears.
You can sign up to host an vigil and get more information here:More >
On Nov. 1st the State of Arizona will be taking its appeal of the injunction issued in July by US District Court Judge Susan Bolton against key provisions of SB1070 to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing in San Francisco. Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona will be attending the hearing as her lawyers seek to convince the judges to let the state of Arizona enforce its new immigration law.
Our partners in Alto Arizona!, Puente Arizona, NDLON (National Day Laborer Organizing Network), and interfaith allies are calling again for those people wearing yellow Standing on the Side of Love T-shirts, placards, and banners to be out in force at an interfaith vigil that morning to witness against this inhumane law.
Suzi Spangenberg at Starr King School of Ministry is organizing a Standing on the Side of Love contingent to be part of the interfaith witness. Contact her at http://www.facebook.com/soozarty or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the Alto Arizona! invitation below – with details on time and place in English and Spanish. Be sure to send us photos, updates and notes to email@example.com. For everyone who will be live tweeting, please use the “#sideoflove” hashtag. To share photos with SSL via twitter, please tweet your photos to @sideoflove.
Alto Arizona! Alto Poli-Migra! Nov 1st Day of Action
Interfaith Vigil of SB 1070 Court Hearing
Monday, November 1, 2010
Meet at St Patrick’s Church, 756 Mission St, San Francisco at 8 a.m.
March to U.S. Court of Appeals, 95 7th St, San Francisco
Hearing begins at 9 a.m.
*Post-Action Teach-In and Exchange Monday, November 1, 10:30am-1:30pm
For more info contact Andrea Mercado firstname.lastname@example.org
SB1070 Art Exhibit Grand Opening
Monday November 1, 5:00pm-7:00pm
The Mission Cultural Center
Alto Arizona! Alto Poli-Migra!
1 de Noviembre Dia de Accion
*Vigilia durante audiencia de SB1070
Lunes, 1 de noviembre, 2010 8:00am-10:00am
Reunir en la Iglesia St Patrick, 756 Mission St, San Francisco
Marchar a la Corte Federal de Apelaciones, 95 7th St, San Francisco
Para endosar contactar a Rev Deborah Lee email@example.com
*Reunion y Intercambio Lunes 1 de Noviembre, 10:30am-1:30pm
Lugar a ser determinado
Para mas informacion contactar a Andrea Mercado firstname.lastname@example.org
*Exhibicion de arte sobre SB1070
Lunes 1 de Noviembre, 5:00pm-7:00pm
The Mission Cultural Center
Members of the SSL Community, including a number of UU Congregations and Ministers, have continued to speak out for an end to anti-gay bullying and harassment. Check out how we are making a difference!
It Gets Better
Gawker’s feminist web zine Jezebel picked the “It Gets Better” You Tube Video Channel of former SSL campaign chair Rev. Meg Riley as one of its top 15 favorites, along with Pres. Obama & House Speaker Pelosi. Don’t miss her poignant message of faith, community, universal justice, and love.
Rev. Debra Haffner, Exec. Director of the Religious Institute, a non-profit faith and religious based organization committed to sexual justice, offers an important message to her fellow faith leaders.
The Youth and Young Adult Group at the Unitarian Univeralist Church of Berkeley also showed their love and support for LGBTQ youth with a heartfelt video that is on their congregation homepage.
Writing on the Side of Love
Lucy Liams wrote in her Letter to the Editor in the Utica Observer-Dispatch on October 18:
No loving God would give anyone the gift of life and of love only to punish or humiliate them. Children grow up to love whomever they will and to express their gender identities in ways that are not choices, but who they know themselves to be. Unitarian Univeralists stand on the side of love.
Witnessing on the Side of Love
Several SSL’ers participated in the Third Annual Marriage Equality New York Capital Region Wedding March, asking for the New York legislature to pass a marriage equality bill. Reported the Troy Record:
Susan Danielson and her 15-year-old son Paul, both members of the Unitarian Society, wore yellow T-shirts promoting Standing on the Side of Love, a Unitarian Universalist Association initiative that, according to its website, “seeks to harness love’s power to stop oppression.” Danielson said that marriage equality is a big issue for the Unitarian congregation.
“It’s unfair to deny the rights of a significant chunk of the population,” she said.
Click here to read the full article from the Troy Record.
In Sarasota, Florida, UU Minister Rev. Dee Graham offered eloquent words at a candlelight vigil. The local Herald-Tribune reported:
Those tragedies motivated about 150 people to attend an anti-bullying protest and candlelight vigil Sunday evening on the Sarasota bayfront organized by Campus Ministries, Sarasota Pride and the Faith Communities of the Gulfcoast Affirming Interfaith Network.
“We are here to say we will stand together in love,” said the Rev. Dee Graham, chaplain for several local colleges. “There is hope, ” Graham said. “There is a tomorrow. There is a greater love in the world and we’re here to witness to that. “
Rev. Sam Trumbore of the First UU Society of Albany reported in the Albany Times-Union blog on his participation in Marriage Equality for New York events:
I participated today in a “Wedding March” for marriage equality. We gathered at the Irish Mist in Troy then marched along Second Avenue through Russel Sage to the Farmers Market next to the old city hall. Then we marched past the soon to be completed Dinosaur Bar-B-Que to the Troy Chowder Fest chanting, “What do we want?” “Marriage Equality!” “When do we want it?” “Now!” We had a good contingent of Unitarian Universalists all wearing Standing on the Side of Love T-Shirts. Check out Marriage Equality for New York to learn more about future actions.
Rev. Tess Baumberger, minister at the Unity Church of North Easton, MA, wrote a guest column in the local paper entitled “Unitarian Universalism and the gay rights movement.” She writes:
Our abolitionist ancestors fought to change laws. Subsequent generations took equality’s cause to the hearts and minds of America. Our calling now may be similar — to transform the hearts and minds of America toward tolerance of gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual family, friends, and neighbors. This could save lives. The stakes are very high. If that is our calling, it is incredibly relevant…
…If we live our foundational beliefs in the worth of every soul, the dignity of every person by addressing these frontiers, future generations may regard us as giants, sit upon our shoulders, and cast visions into futures we cannot foresee. We might be giants, or we might be standing on the shoulders those whose theology and advocacy raised us up. In either case, there is work to be done, hearts to be won, lives to be saved.
To read her full piece, visit: http://www.wickedlocal.com/avon/news/lifestyle/x1404214943/GUEST-COLUMN-Unitarian-Universalism-and-the-gay-rights-movement
Looking for a way to take action? Plan a vigil or witness event for the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). Around November 20th every year, the Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil is held to remember those whose voices were silenced, whose lives were cut short. Honoring the TDOR means standing on the side of love and reminding society that every life matters. Click here to get more information on how you can hold a vigil in your congregation or community.More >